Grade: all
Subject: other

#3220. An Imaginary Creature and then using Describing and Action w

, level: all
Posted Mon Dec 19 22:28:16 PST 2005 by Mrs. Mira Sarkar (mirasr_38@yahoo.com).

Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, India
Materials Required: Poster Paint and White glue for sure. Odds and ends cardboard or plastic 3D shapes.
Activity Time: 7 to 8 hours

An Imaginary Creature and then using Describing and Action words for a Creative Writing exercise
Class 1

I am good at collecting odds and ends - shoe boxes from the neighborhood shop and small cartons from the chemist, blank tape rolls gathered for the past year or two, caps of markers, Styrofoam whenever computers arrive at school. Name it I have it!

I had enough of these odds and ends for ninety students. The Styrofoam blocks were cut into rectangular blocks for neck and legs. Once the students were all attentive, looking at me and not talking, I started in a very quiet voice about creating a creature that nobody else had found. Earlier I had done a quick exercise on the chalkboard about living things and the categories that come under animals. The students had already been informed about amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals. I told them about a National Geographic team that had gone to the deepest part of the ocean that none had ever explored and they found underwater creatures that had the most amazing shapes and colours. Likewise they will pretend they have found the most amazing creature deep in the forest.

Whenever the students need tape I find it best to stick cut pieces of tape on a chair, this way there is less wastage. This time it struck me to have tape pieces in two sizes and ask the students to figure out which one they need so that there no wastage of tape. I truly believe in non-wastage of all resources! The odds and ends were placed in the center of the room in boxes, the chairs with the tape was to one side, while the students worked along the walls. I demonstrated finding an item for the body and head and how to tape these and off they went with their work on their imaginary creatures.

Once the creature was created the students papier-mch it. This time I decided to use white glue mixed with water for in today's life style this easier to mix than cooking white flour even though this is cheaper than white glue. I demonstrated how to be sure to papier-mch the joints first for the tape is a temporary bond and how to press on the paper so that it takes the shape of the objects. This exercise has taken four days for most students.

I decided that instead of painting the creatures the students would cover it with coloured paper. A great deal of scraps of chart paper were lying around, these were sorted into trays by colour. This time a slightly thicker mixture of white glue was used with a brush and I talked how the creature could have stripes or patterns on it and change from light to bright orange to red. I also demonstrated how to make cones or use the paper with cuts in it to give it a furry look, or create a crown for it.

It suddenly struck me that when the students sit in a circle on the floor I have to ask them to make the circle bigger each time. This time I asked each of them to estimate how big the circle should be to seat all thirty students. It worked, less anger on my part and more fun for all! Once again as the students were giving me their creatures to place on a plastic sheet for drying they were to give me an estimate of how many more days of work they needed. I was amazed how many of them were close to my estimate.

Following completion of work the students will write stories on them. Describe where they found their creature, give it a name, what actions the creature is capable of. I have decided that instead of asking the students for the describing and action words, I will have a list of these for then the choice of words will be greater. All I will do is read the words and ask them to save in their brains the words they like.

Their creatures will be photographed and stories written and then this can go in their portfolio boxes.


Mira Sarkar
Wednesday, September 01, 2004